Bicker Battles and the War of a Lifetime
|December 11, 2016||Posted by admin under Musings||
We are a bickering people. I’d love to say it’s a Willie Lynch thing but that’s too easy. It really amounts to desperation and guilt. Desperation for a win. Guilt for never feeling like we’ve done enough.
Even with neo-Fascism staring us right in the face, we’re out here bashing each other over fighting tactics. We let it all out on people we don’t even know. Most often, these are people we never planned to meet anyway.
It feels good. We’re not just letting anger out, we’re picking battles we might actually be able to win. If we write enough think pieces and tweet enough, we can affect Van Jones. He cares, so we know he reads some of them.
Our enemies aren’t so vulnerable. They don’t have to engage with us and most don’t. Some have real money and power. Many lack shame. Our fight against them is a war we’ve been fighting since colonization. If we’re being honest with ourselves, we know it’s a war we won’t see the end of in our lifetimes.
Therein lies the guilt. In the face of such obstacles, how can we justify letting up in any way? Short of being the conqueror who finally ends the war, nothing we do will ever be enough. Then think about if you’re dating a white woman or have a white husband. Think about being mixed or growing up in a white town. Most of us have one reason or another to believe we’re starting from behind in our “Blackness”. We bear that weight and put extra pressure on ourselves, as if every moment that people are watching is life or death. When we think someone isn’t pulling his weight, we pounce, dealing out the same punishment we’re afraid of receiving ourselves.
It’s a win-win. Not just do we get to blow off some steam, we also get the feeling of validation. When you’re constantly wrestling with guilt, it’s a relief to feel Blacker-than-thou. Even if that person never meets you or even learns of your existence, she can’t take away that validated feeling, that momentary victory over your own guilt.
The price may be taking our eyes off the target, but to feel like a winner, even if it’s for only a moment, is worth it. Meanwhile, the war rages on and we have one less comrade to watch our backs.